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Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 53 of 61

Essential Skills to Post-Processing


Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 53 of 61

Essential Skills to Post-Processing


Lesson Info

Essential Skills to Post-Processing

What are the essential skills that you've gotta learn? And these are what I call global adjustments that generally these effect a large area of the picture if not all of it. So, one is, right, is you gotta learn how to crop to increase impact, and that's why it's good sometimes to submit your images into competitions or you have it reviewed or critiqued by somebody who is at a master level or whatever, at a high level, and they can tell you right off the bat on cropping. It's like, you know what, I should actually figure out how to do a lecture on cropping, I have to think about that, but yeah, that would be good. Complimentary colors. Know what complimentary colors, why? What is the complimentary color of yellow? Well, it's blue, right? Red and green. The reason why, there's a couple reason why's you wanna know what complimentary colors work together is that, lets say you're deciding within what color to gel your background. Well, maybe if you're having yellow bouquet balls in the fro...

nt there, what's the complimentary color of yellow, blue. Oh, maybe I should have a blue background there, or change that background to blue to make it look like it fits together. Another reason why you wanna know complimentary colors, is that, did you know that when you put two complimentary colors together it equals what? Gray. And so when you're trying to neutralize elements and you see, that looks a little bit green, 'cause maybe you shot that picture they were on the grass. Okay, how do I make it look less green? What's the complimentary color of green? Red. So, let me turn my red slider up there to reduce some of that green. And so, if you know those things, then you can get to gray and learn to neutralize and balance, and that's another thing that you should know. Maximum dynamic range. How to get that image so you can see the full range of that, it's like kind of knowing how to create a HDR image. Especially if you're doing landscapes and things like that, that's good to know how to do that because you can really see the detail of everything. And I'll show you in light room a good way to do that. Changing the hue, saturation of elements. So, lets say, you have some green foliage and you wanna make it look more autumn. How can I take that green and change the color of it? Or lets say she's wearing blue and you wanna kind of change that blue and make it slightly a different hue or whatever, that's very good to know how to do. The curves, curves are really good. Especially at the end, I like doin' it, when you wanna add that little extra dynamic range to pop it a bit. Adjusting the highlights and adjusting the lows and fiddling around and looking at it, at the end just gives it that little bit of pop. That's really cool to know. Fixed lens distortion. So, you're takin' a wide angle shot and then the columns are not straight on this edge because you're shooting it so wide so it's bent in. So, how can we get it to look like this? That's important to do. Noise reduction. We do a lot we're shooting in high ISO. I'll just tell you right now, Imagenomic is what I use, it's really cool. It's image and then nomic, N-O-M-I-C. I have been using that for 10 years. That one noise reduction and it works really great. Sharpening. How do you make that? 'Cause sometimes you could take some shots and ah, don't you ever say this, dang I was slightly off on that eye and it doesn't look sharp, and so you gotta be able to learn how to sharpen things. So, now, those are the global adjustments, now, there are some local and stylistic adjustments that you gotta learn too. So, you do all that kind of general stuff to your photo but then now you gotta get into the nitty gritty and edit just a small area of it and this is what I call, small local adjustments, is darkening and lightening specific areas. But you gotta know the philosophy behind that. Why am I lightening it and why am I darkening it? Yeah, you can know how to do it but you have to know why on top of that. And I think that's really what I'm here for. I'm not to show you the techniques 'cause I'm not really great at that, but I can tell you the why, why you need to do it. And that's really important. Skin smoothing is huge. There's several different ways to do it, I do it the easy way, coming from a wedding background and having to edit hundreds of pictures, I can't go through and do it the most amazing way, 'cause I can't spend that much time, but I'll show you definitely what I do, and it's gotten me by all these years. I'm not gonna say I'm like the world's best at it, but I do say that it is a necessity and I'll show you my quick and easy way to do it. Hair management. You got hair kinda flyin' around here and there, gotta learn how to push that in. Eliminating objects. And that's huge. That's a big time suck. I'll just be honest with you sometimes. But you know, if you really love that image, you don't mind spending time with it, it's kinda like your children right? It's like, hey, spend time, it's the same thing. This is your baby, man. The more time you spend with it, so what if nobody likes it, you do so that's all that matters. Adding elements too. So, the elements that I'm not really big on it. Ooh, who knows great as that Brooke Shaden, she's awesome at doin' that kinda stuff, adding a teacup here, whatever. That's not my thing, but you do have to do some basic things. I feel like for me, like sky, textures, adding lighting effects, and things like that. Signature toning. And blending. What do you mean my toning? Well, if I say, hey, think of the movie the Matrix. What comes to mind? Don't you see a color palette in your mind? That whole movie was shot differently, right? You have some greens in there, whatever. I just see some tones of green in there, it just feels like. And so, that's what you can do with your photos. You can give it just the signature toning feel and instead of you figuring it out, I've realized that alien skin is really good at that 'cause they've got a billion different combinations and you just keep clicking that same one and slightly editing it and then you've got your own. So, you don't have to invent the wheel there, they have some great tools for you to do that. How to edit four types of image. So, I'm gonna go into that. Hopefully I'll stay this. I don't know where it's gonna lead to, but one I kind of like what I shot and what I showed you I'm gonna edit and pick some of those pictures out. I don't know exactly what pictures, I have my pictures set out, but hey, I might choose a picture and we're just gonna edit it together and see what we come up with and I'll show you my style and I'm sure it'll be fun.

Class Description

Want to be able to go into any situation with your camera and have the confidence to know you’ll get the shot? Award-Winning photographer Scott Robert Lim goes in-depth on the four foundational elements you must conquer if you want to develop your creativity and style.

Scott will give you the guidelines you need to master:

  • Lighting
  • Posing
  • Composition
  • Post-Processing

Once you master these fundamentals of portraits, you free up your mind to get creative and ultimately get the shot.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. 5 Shots That WOW
  3. Four Fundamentals of Photography
  4. Create a Visual Impact with Composition
  5. Importance of Foreground and Background
  6. Create Depth in Landscape Images
  7. Photos Don't Always Follow the Rules
  8. Composition Practice Exercise
  9. Composition Critique of Student Images
  10. Keys to Posing
  11. Shoot: Classic Elegance Female Pose
  12. Shoot: Modern Female Pose
  13. Shoot: Rollover Female Pose
  14. Female Hands & Arms Poses Overview
  15. Shoot: Hands and Arms Poses for Female
  16. Seven Posing Guidelines
  17. Headshots Poses with Male Model
  18. Shoot: Headshot for Male Model
  19. Shoot: Sitting Poses for Male Model
  20. Shoot: Leaning Poses for Male Model
  21. Shoot: Standing Poses for Male Model
  22. Keys to Couples Posing
  23. Shoot: Couples Posing
  24. Couples Transitional Posing Overview
  25. Shoot: Transitional Posing
  26. Keys to Group Posing
  27. Accordion Technique with Groups
  28. Shoot: Accordion Technique
  29. Shoot: Best Buds Pose
  30. Shoot: Talk with Your Hands Pose
  31. Shoot: Lock Arms and Hold Hands Pose
  32. Run at the Camera and Dance in Your Seat Poses
  33. Shoot: Pod Method Pose
  34. Posing Critique of Student Images
  35. Introduction to Lighting
  36. Soft vs Hard Light
  37. Difficult Lighting Situations
  38. Bright Light Techniques
  39. Overcast Light Techniques
  40. Low Light Techniques
  41. Lighting Techniques Q&A
  42. Drama Queen Lighting
  43. Laundry Basket Lighting
  44. Make it Rain Lighting
  45. Smart Phone Painting with Light
  46. Mini LED Bokeh Lighting
  47. Choose the Right Lighting System
  48. Hybrid Flash System
  49. Innovative Accessories
  50. Gear Overview
  51. Theatrical Post-Processing
  52. Ten Keys to Post-Processing
  53. Essential Skills to Post-Processing
  54. Headshot Post-Processing
  55. Bright Light Post-Processing
  56. Flat Light Post-Processing
  57. Low Light Post-Processing
  58. Introduction to Fine Art Post-Processing
  59. Light & Airy Fine Art Post-Processing
  60. Dark & Moody Fine Art Post-Processing
  61. Post-Processing Critique of Student Images


Vitor Rademaker

This course is amazing! Scott is extremely straightforward. He goes directly to practical problems, tips and etc. He explains every thing very clearly, and he is also very funny and charismatic, making you laugh as you learn. He shows that you don't need a lot of expensive gear to make very nice pictures. So I have saved some money as well, cause I was about to buy some gear that I wouldn't need right now. It is for sure one of the best photography courses I have ever attended to! I highly recommend! Thanks a lot Scott! You are the best!


I have purchased a number of classes, this being one of them. The quality of the information was good and the level at which Scott spoke was appropriate for me. Having a course sylibus would add greatly to the value, which usually is not part of the programs I've purchased including this one, unless I've missed it. I believe the speaker should be required to provide one. After watching the videos, much of material can be recaptured by seeing it in writing. I would like to hear back from Creativelive their thoughts. In sum, good topic, good speaker, good technical audio and video quality by Creativelive


Another fantastic class with Scott Robert Lim! The combination of his knowledge, willingness to share, passion & entertaining personality makes him a top choice for photography education. Learning not only the "what", but the "why" & "how" can transform one's entire approach towards MAKING pictures. A constant inspiration to get better & better through practice.